No Discriminatory Intent in Russian Sign Cover-Up: JR East Official

Society

Tokyo, April 19 (Jiji Press)--An official of East Japan Railway Co. <9020> on Tuesday denied discriminatory intentions when the company temporarily covered up direction signs in Russian at its Ebisu Station in Tokyo this month.

Speaking to reporters, Mitsuhiro Fukagai, head of the Tokyo branch of the railway operator, also known as JR East, admitted, however, that the move was "not appropriate from a comprehensive viewpoint."

The Russian signs were covered up with sheets of paper with the words "Under Maintenance" from April 7, after staff workers at Ebisu Station received feedback from station users feeling uncomfortable to see words in Russian following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, which started in late February.

The sheets were removed Friday, after the move was criticized by many as being discriminatory.

"There had been very strong opinions against (the Russian signs), so we had considered keeping the signs 'under maintenance' in the current circumstances and removing (the sheets of paper) after the situation stabilizes," Fukagai said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press